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Notice

Draft Guideline on Target Animal Safety: Examination of Live Veterinary Vaccines in Target Animals for Absence of Reversion to Virulence (VICH Topic GL41)

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice of availability and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

A draft guideline titled “Target Animal Safety: Examination of Live Veterinary Vaccines in Target Animals for Absence of Reversion to Virulence” has been developed by the International Cooperation on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products (VICH). The draft guideline is intended to establish criteria and requirements for the conduct of studies that examine the potential for reversion to or increase in virulence of live veterinary vaccines in target animals. Because the draft guideline applies, in part, to veterinary biological products regulated by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, we are requesting comments on its provisions so that we may include any relevant input on the draft in the Agency's comments to the VICH Steering Committee.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before February 22, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • EDOCKET: Go to http://www.epa.gov/​feddocket to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once you have entered EDOCKET, click on the “View Open APHIS Dockets” link to locate this document.
  • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. 04-129-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. 04-129-1.
  • E-mail: Address your comment to regulations@aphis.usda.gov. Your comment must be contained in the body of your message; do not send attached files. Please include your name and address in your message and “Docket No. 04-129-1” on the subject line.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for locating this docket and submitting comments.

Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.

Other Information: You may view APHIS documents published in the Federal Register and related information, including the names of groups and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​rad/​webrepor.html.

You may request a copy of the draft guideline by writing to Dr. Donna M. Gatewood, Center for Veterinary Biologics, VS, APHIS, 510 South 17th Street, Suite 104, Ames, IA 50010, or by calling (515) 232-5785. The draft guideline is also available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​vs/​cvb/​pel/​notices.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Albert P. Morgan, Chief of Operational Support, Center for Veterinary Biologics, Policy, Evaluation and Licensing, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 148, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-8245.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The International Cooperation on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for the Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products (VICH) is a unique project that brings together the regulatory authorities of the European Union, Japan, and the United States and representatives from the animal health industry in the three regions. The purpose of VICH is to harmonize technical requirements for veterinary products (both drugs and biologics). Regulatory authorities and industry experts from Australia and New Zealand participate in an observer capacity. The VICH initiative is conducted under the auspices of the International Office of Epizootics. The World Federation of the Animal Health Industry (COMISA, the Confederation Mondiale de L'Industrie de la Sante Animale) provides the secretarial and administrative support for VICH activities.

The United States Government is represented in VICH by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The FDA provides expertise regarding veterinary drugs, while APHIS fills a corresponding role for veterinary biological products. As VICH members, APHIS and FDA participate in efforts to enhance harmonization and have expressed their commitment to seeking scientifically based harmonized technical requirements for the development of veterinary drugs and biologics. One of the goals of harmonization is to identify and reduce the differences in technical requirements for veterinary drugs and biologics among regulatory agencies in different countries.

This notice informs the public that the draft document “Target Animal Safety: Examination of Live Veterinary Vaccine in Target Animals for Absence of Reversion to Virulence” (VICH Topic GL41) has been made available by the VICH Steering Committee for comments by interested parties. The draft guideline is intended to provide a unified standard for regulatory bodies to facilitate the mutual acceptance of reversion to virulence data. Because the draft guideline applies to some veterinary biological products regulated by APHIS under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, particularly with regard to reversion to virulence testing, we are requesting comments on its provisions so that we may include any relevant public input on the draft in the Agency's comments to the VICH Steering Committee.

The draft document reflects current APHIS thinking on examining veterinary vaccines in target animals for absence of reversion to virulence. In accordance with the VICH process, once a final draft of “Target Animal Safety: Examination of Live Veterinary Vaccine in Target Animals for Absence of Reversion to Virulence” has been approved, the guideline will be recommended for adoption by the regulatory bodies of the European Union, Japan, and the United States. As with all VICH documents, the final guideline will not create or confer any rights for or on any person and will not operate to bind APHIS or the public. Further, the VICH guidelines specifically provide for the use of alternative approaches if those approaches satisfy regulatory requirements.

Ultimately, APHIS intends to consider the VICH Steering Committee's final guidance document for use by U.S. Start Printed Page 76904veterinary biologics licensees, permittees, and applicants. In addition, APHIS may also consider the use of the final guidance document as the basis for proposed additions or amendments to its regulations in 9 CFR chapter I, subchapter E (Viruses, Serums, Toxins, and Analogous Products; Organisms and Vectors). Because we anticipate that applicable provisions of the final version of “Target Animal Safety: Examination of Live Veterinary Vaccines in Target Animals for Absence of Reversion to Virulence” may be introduced into APHIS' veterinary biologics regulatory program in the future, we encourage your comments on the draft version.

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Authority: 21 U.S.C. 151 et seq.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 16th day of December 2004.

Elizabeth E. Gaston,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E4-3782 Filed 12-22-04; 8:45 am]

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